Author Archives: toritaiyo

How to recall your Japanese – some anecdotal neuroscience of language learning

“Japanese language mode” – is the name I have for the “setting” my brain has to go into before I can really communicate and remember in Japanese. How to get there is the subject of this post, so if you want to know, read on.

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Surfing with Yasuke! September 2021

Grammar dictionaries, name dictionaries, youtube and more

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“You’ll never learn [all there is to know about] Japanese” – an important message for the lifelong Japanese learner

It happens to all of us at some point… discouragement. What to do about it?

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Haters and Japanese language learning – Yasuke! Tips for Teachers

I’ve posted on this subject many times, but I think I will never address it enough: everyone (native speaker to non-native speaker, and everyone in between) makes mistakes in Japanese. Let’s talk about why non-native speakers should not be afraid to teach Japanese; And why you should still use both types of tutors (native and […]

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Surfing with Yasuke! August 2021

Hi There! This is “Surfing with Yasuke!” – A monthly or semi-weekly posting of interesting links from wandering around the Japanese language related web And my thoughts on the things found. Here we go…

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The World’s First “Kanji Writer’s Dictionary”

This book is not guaranteed to make you pretty It’s not your genie But it WILL change the way you do Kanji. period. But how?

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New Release: kanji by KanKen and school grade

While arguably the best way to learn kanji is in context (something that our Yasuke! Versus Japanese series does well), I know some of you are prepping for the KanKen test. Others might want to see where your kanji knowledge matches up to where Japanese learn kanji in school. Let’s see how this newly released […]

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Aidzuchi 相づち : the Art of “Back-channeling” – Yasuke! Adventures in Japanese

One important thing about listening in Japanese is responding to, or repeating back, a portion of what the person said.  In Japanese there is even a word for this “相づち” (あいづち). Let’s learn more…

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Yasuke Presents… “Japanese-School-In-A-Box”: A Guide to opening a Japanese school in your living room. A help for students and teachers of Japanese.

“Kanji Anonymous” A proposed decentralized club for learning Japanese that anyone can set up anywhere. Mission: to fill the world with Japanese schools.

Posted in How To Teach Japanese, Kanji Anonymous, Kanji Revolution, Learn Japanese, Teaching Japanese, Yasuke Tips for Teachers | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Learn Japanese in Taiwan – first thoughts

Learning a language is an interesting thing. Many feel that you don’t “learn” a language but rather “get used to” it. And I would agree in sentiment with that. (But for simplicity, let’s say learning Japanese). Learning often has more to do with the student – the student’s discipline, curiosity, tenacity, and other aspects of […]

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自転車免許証? When did Japan start requiring a license for bicycles? Let’s find out

So, between tadoku.org, simplified news websites, and watanoc.com I do article reading lessons often with students. And sometimes interesting things come up.

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Great Artists Do Not Create, They Do Not Copy, They STEAL

This is very likely the most important post I have written about learning Japanese. In a 1996 address, Steve Jobs quoted the statement “Good artists copy; Great artists steal” (which he misattributed to Picasso – but that is besides the point). What Steve Jobs likely meant – and what we will be talking about – […]

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Advice for progressing to advanced Japanese and into near-native fluency

Seven slightly-crazy tips to progress to near-native fluency:

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ウインドウズの日本語IMEの使い方 (How to use Windows Japanese IME input; how to toggle あ and A, included ) – 生徒は尋ねる

As part of your self-enforced immersion routine you will want to type, web surf, etc. in Japanese. For that you will need Japanese typing input. And this post will teach you how to get it and how to use it.

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Presenting “Yasuke! Kanji Mnemonics for the Classroom”

In this incomplete but initial starter post, JapanTree is proud to present – the fruit of six years of effort – the world’s first kanji system to adapt the Heisig Method for use in the classroom. THIS IS BIG.

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Pausing and Phrasing

Text of the article ストレスの対処法 あなたが大切にしている事柄についてまず考えてみましょう。その中には健康,人への接し方,人生の目標や優先順位の高いものなどがあります。この記事では,ストレスにうまく対処し,ストレスを和らげるのに役立つアドバイスを紹介しています。 END OF ARTICLE (more practice below) (after the shorter phrasing, practice the longer phrase breaks; in green below) To learn the kanji (& practice writing them) ストレスの対処法 すとれす の たいしょほう あなた が たいせつ に している ことがら について まず かんがえてみましょう。 1021*against 1288*dispose of/ or manage 1258*law あなたが 398*big 167*cut / […]

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日本語だけで! Getting by in only Japanese!(a Yasuke Tip)

目次 (TABLE OF CONTENTS) 1. 説明 (Explanation)2. ネイティブのように (like a “native”) 3.~もの (things) 4.~こと (intangible things: movement, feelings, situations)5.それは何だっけ? _は日本語で何だっけな (What is that again?)

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Why I favor online textbooks like Tae Kim’s GuideToJapanese over mainstream textbooks

Lots of reasons. Here are some reasons that I mentioned to a student I started tutoring back in 2015.

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Yasuke Tips: Writing Trifecta! Using Journaling, tools like HiNative, and “Shadow Writing” to improve your Japanese

The goal of this post is to help Japanese teachers, japanese tutors, classroom students, and self-learners BURN their English language retreat bridges and march on to victory in Japanese.

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Yasuke Tips: Using HiNative to practice Japanese

https://hinative.com/ja/questions/ Don’t want to bother your Japanese friends with grammar questions? Try HiNative

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Yasuke Tips: Unusual LevelUps. How self-learning Japanese Sign Language (JSL) is helping me keep up my Japanese

I use lots of different methods to keep up my Japanese. As I have mentioned elsewhere, I force myself to use Japanese through tutoring, membership in Japanese associations, and other ways. I also have a few good Japanese friends (but they can be too busy for regular practice). I also use HiNative to get a […]

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Yasuke Tips! 検索 How to search the web in Japanese – A guide to a lifelong language habit

One of the best ways to improve your Japanese is to do web searches in Japanese and skim through the results. It is a habit that can help you immerse yourself more fully into Japanese and at the same time [hopefully] not hate doing so 🙂 But how to we do it? Let’s see!

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Yasuke Tips: ❝シャドーイング❞という日本語を訓練し方 (Shadow Reading to Hone Your Japanese)

When my wife makes a phone call she is almost always mistaken for a native Chinese speaker (she often has to tell them that she is a foreign to explain why she doesn’t know the technical term for something).  When she talks to Chinese people in person for the first time they are almost always […]

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Yasuke Tips: A more in-depth look at how to use Erin.ne.jp to improve all areas of your Japanese, no matter your Japanese level

Erin.ne.jp is super useful and free. It doesn’t get much better than that for a japanese teacher (japanese tutor) looking for online resources. Which is why I already wrote about it being a great Japanese teaching resource (especially for immersion lessons). This Yasuke Tip will show you how to get all of the juice out […]

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Yasuke Adventure in Japanese : How to ask Japanese if they understood in very polite Japanese

As a way of increasing the depth of our Japanese knowledge Yasuke Tips has suggested using Yahoo ChieBukuro. The following is an example search.

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Yasuke Tips (For Teachers) – Using Erin.ne.jp to teach Japanese, especially immersion lessons.

A very quick write up of a topic I hope to delve deeper into later… Erin.ne.jp, the Japanese teacher/tutor’s Swiss Army Knife. On the surface this website might seem to only match self-study and for only certain kinds of students. But let’s take a closer look.

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Yasuke Tip: Using Yahoo’s 知恵袋 to get a deeper understanding of Japanese

Let’s say you want to know the difference between two similar Japanese words. For example, 新し と 新たな. You can google “新しと新たなの違いは” and get good results. But you can also try Yahoo’s ChieBukuro (Knowledge Bag) to dig deeper. Here’s how.

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Yasuke Adventures in Japanese: Addressing People (GuideToJapanese.org textbook supplement)

(The following study material can be used to add more “meat” to the lesson on “addressing people” on GuideToJapanese.org) あなた わたし “you” “I” – these are words that are seldom used by the Japanese. In a language where context is of the utmost importance and ほんね/たてまえ (本音/建前) rules the day, how can a mere mortal foreigner make […]

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